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Can tree roots crush drain pipes?

Yes, tree roots can crush drain pipes. As tree roots grow, they can exert a lot of force and pressure on pipes, particularly older or pipes with any structural damage. The tree roots can also grow into small cracks or in the pipe joints, causing them to expand and eventually crush or break the pipe.

Additionally, if the roots are able to penetrate the pipe and grow inside it, they can cause blocked drains.

It’s also worth noting that, tree roots can cause more damage to clay pipes, and cast iron pipes because of their rigid structure but, more durable and flexible materials like copper or PVC pipes can still be crushed.

We have seen instances where tree roots growing through the excavated soil of the trench under a PVC sewer system, squash the pipe from beneath as they get thicker and stronger. The pipe line needed excavation for repairs and to cut out the offending tree root which was about 200mm in diameter.

The PVC pipeline was only twelve years old!

The Hills Weeping fig (Ficus microcarpa var. hillii) was about fifty years old.

Tree roots crush pipes

If you think your stormwater or sewer pipes are being crushed by tree roots, it’s important to regularly inspect the pipes and address any issues promptly, because leaks through the cracks will only attract more tree roots.

Also, when planting trees near pipes or underground utilities, proper plant selection can prevent potential problems.

How do Tree roots grow?

Tree roots grow in different ways depending on the species of tree.

Some trees have a taproot system, where the main root grows straight down and branches off into smaller roots.

Other trees have a fibrous root system, where many small roots grow out in all directions from the base of the tree.

Roots also grow towards moisture and nutrients, so they may grow deeper in dry or nutrient-poor soil and closer to the surface in moist or nutrient-rich soil.

Additionally, tree roots can grow laterally, horizontally or vertically depending on the species of the tree and the soil conditions.

How do you Stop Tree roots in Drains?

Its called Vaporooter. Click here to find out more.

Tree root infiltration in sewer drainpipes

The search of warmth and humidity is part of the natural growth process of tree roots and the sewer pipelines seem to be a plentiful, accessible source that can aide the root development. The maturing process involves the splitting and growth of one cell at a time, which gives them access to microscopic fissures of the draining pipes.

After finding a small opening, the root can keep growing and enlarging the fissure, which may eventually lead to the pipe breaking open or to its blockage. The pipes made of clay or cement are more vulnerable to tree root infiltration as they are usually made up of many short pieces joined together and the linking areas are most likely to have small cracks.

Tree roots can either grow above the pipe and enter it from the top and sides or they can grow along the length of the pipe and fill the diameter of the pipe. Either way, once the root has invaded the pipe, the latter’s decay starts.

The traditional method of dealing with a sewage blockage and overflow is cutting the tree roots. This, however, is only a short-term efficient solution. In the long run, the cutting of the root produces its revitalization and it makes it an even stronger enemy to the drain pipes.

Years of research have led to a different, more efficient solution. A combination of herbicides and growth inhibitors has the desired long-term result. Sanafoam Vaporooter II softens and then kills the invasive roots, while inhibiting the future growth of new ones. The clearing of the pipes is not immediate, as the roots need time to naturally decay, but a retreatment can lead to a 99 per cent efficacy.

In addition, Vaporooter technology helps maintain the good functioning of the sewage systems through the restoration of the pipes. As the Vaporooter destroys the roots that invaded the pipe, the small opening cracks close under the ground weight. The treatment is valid for up to three years, thus having a long-lasting effect that can be reinforced with a retreatment.